Camilla’s Jay Powell named new House Rules Committee chairman

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jay Powell was named Chairman of the powerful House Rules committee by Speaker David Ralston this week. Powell replaces John Meadows, who died in office late last year. (File Photo)

CAMILLA — State Representative Jay Powell has been named chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee.

Powell, a Republican from Camilla, was promoted to the role Tuesday, according to reports, making him one of the most powerful lawmakers under the Gold Dome. Without his support, a bill will stand little chance of advancing.

The move leaves open the chairman’s seat on the House Ways and Means committee, which is tasked with writing tax laws, triggering a domino effect that will play out during the next week as lawmakers return to Atlanta for the new legislative session. That session begins Monday.

“Chairman Powell is an experienced leader in the House, and he has earned the trust of our members,” Speaker David Ralston said in a statement announcing his decision to put Powell in the role. “I know he will continue to serve with distinction, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment.”

The appointment of Powell as House Rules chair will also ensure southwest Georgia has a powerful voice in the legislature.

“I think Jay will do a fine job, and it will be nice to have a person from southwest Georgia occupying that chair,” Rep. Gerald Green, R-Cuthbert, said of Powell. “Lord knows we have been losing influence and population down here, and we need someone in a position of power to watch our backs for us.”

Powell replaces John Meadows, a north Georgia lawmaker who held the role for seven years before dying of cancer late last year.

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Writer with The Albany Herald.